Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baghlujeh (Site F4)- 24 September 2013

Baghlujeh (Site F4)- 24 September 2013

Our first float day was from Fishkhaboor to the village of Baghlujeh about 13.7 km (as the crow flies downstream) .... the river was flowing well and we even saw a few Class 1 rapids!  I was worried about the sun but the sky was full of puffy clouds that sometimes gave us a respite from the heat.  It was a real blessing to finally get away from the chaos of the camp, logistical craziness, safety talks and finally get some river time in.

And how amazing being on this great river is!  We were all smiles and enjoying it tremendously.  I rowed for the first hour straight getting a good start on thee calluses on my hands.  Rowing can really become a meditative, zen-like experience

Our Ministry of Water Resource folks seemed to enjoy the day ... and M helped me with the rowing and the Riparian vegetation survey.

We even got a little swimming in ... the water looked a little marginal to me. I could do no biological tests but the conductivity was below legal limits and the oxygen level was good.  Turbidity was only bad near the gravel mines (as expected), of which there were several throughout the day.  Most of the land appears to be used for grazing, wheat or corn fields, and gravel mining.  We also saw several boats with fisherman using electricity (not a sustainable practice).

We selected a nice spot for our lunch break (Nab, our Waterkeeper, took the first shot with the whole group in the background, the second photo is off Jennifer):

I also did some close ups of some of the plants that were blooming/fruiting:

Our only negative experience was with an Asaish officer.  A fisherman, un-used to seeing such a bizarre collection of boats and foreigners on the river, called the Asaish (Kurdish Intelligence) and an officer showed up on a boat and was not very pleasant, but our permission letters are all in order and our trusty Waterkeeper, Nab, did an excellent job of dealing with the matter.  We finished our journey at Site F4 - the village of Baghlujeh and asked a local guy to watch our boats for us and returned to camp to reminisce about our first wonderful day on the river in Iraq.


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